Who are you? Yes, you, there in the back, at the desk, in the coffee shop, the entrepreneur, the startup, the guy seeking venture capital, the girl with the clever domain name and brilliant idea… who are you? If you aren’t sure, then I don’t mean to put you under pressure, but you better figure it out quickly.
Sure, a lot of the answer will unfold as you find your customer base, and develop a more finely tuned content marketing approach. But, for now, it’s time to focus on developing your brand as thoroughly as possible before you launch. It can make a world of difference.
Good preparation tends to lend itself to good results. Of course, as a small business owner, you’re about to find out that no matter how much you prepare, at least half a dozen aggravating little issues will greet you each morning. But, preparation should minimize these issues. Having a well-developed brand is an essential part of this preparation.
So, how do I start?
The best way to begin is by answering the question all your potential clients will be asking (Who are you?). Do this by developing a mission statement that will appear everywhere your brand name appears. Check out this great resource that lists the slogan/motto and description of every single Fortune 500 Company. If you don’t know what a mission statement should look like, this can help you get a good idea of what direction to take.
Develop your content marketing strategy, and stay committed to it. Good branding is consistent. When your clients know that you post to Twitter five times a day, you’re off to a good start. If people rely on seeing an inspirational video on your blog at seven o’clock every morning, great. Whatever you choose to do to connect with your customers, make it habitual, and watch the content based conversions start rolling in!
Cultivate a Following
Try to scout out your following (potential clients) before you launch your brand. Come launch day, you want to go big! It can be frustrating when your brand rolls out, and you don’t even know where to look for clients. For finding potential clients/customers on Twitter, use free services like wefollow.com.
Network With Leaders
Whether your brand offers a new and original service, or whether you’re performing an old service in a better way, 99% of the time there should be someone else out there who knows a thing or two about the business you’re about to enter. Get to know these people. If you can get the mentorship of an industry leader, your brand will be much better developed come launch date. Prioritize two or three of these relationships, and spend time working on them!
If the brand you’re launching is a professional brand for your name only, then do yourself a favor and read through John Hall’s recent post at the Content Marketing Institute.
Otherwise, remember this: in order to have a well-developed brand come launch date, you have to develop your mission statement thoroughly, know your content marketing strategy, grow that following, and network yourself to success! Once your company is off and running, don’t lose focus!
What else do you consider essential for pre-launch brand development?